Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

New Toyota-Mazda plant will bring 4000 jobs to Alabama

New Toyota-Mazda plant will bring 4000 jobs to Alabama

"In a single generation, Alabama has become a powerhouse in the auto industry, and the Toyota-Mazda joint-venture manufacturing facility will provide another potent catalyst for sustained growth in the sector", said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Matt Bevin said the commonwealth would be going full throttle to convince Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda that the Bluegrass state is the ideal location for a $1.6 billion factory they plan to build in the United States.

The new plant will employ upward of 4,000 people and is expected to produce approximately 300,000 vehicles per year. The site for the new plant in Huntsville sits just 14 miles from Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, which produces four-cylinder, V-6 and V-8 engines for several Toyota models.

Toyota and Mazda Motor Corp. also plan to work together on various advanced auto technology, such as electric vehicles, safety features and connected cars, as well as products that they could supply each other, they said.

Several states had competed for the coveted project, which will be able to turn out 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda. "We are proud that this partnership puts Alabama on the forefront of technology in this dynamic global industry".

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motors, said the new facility is something of a homecoming since the company already has one plant in the state.

"With this announcement, our world changes overnight", Battle said.

US sales of small cars fell almost 10 percent past year as buyers continued a massive shift toward SUVs and pickup trucks. By making such cars here in Alabama, we hope that over time our plant will come to occupy a special place in the hearts of our employees and the local community. The person did not want to be identified because the decision hasn't been made public.

Most of Toyota's USA plants are in the South, and all are non-union.

Amid tightening environmental regulations in the US, the likely challenge will be to create new added value, such as locally producing electric cars and replacing production models to better reflect demand.

The joint plant forms part of a plan unveiled by Toyota in January 2017 to invest $10 billion in the US over the next five years. Sullivan said the factory itself is a huge asset for the state, but it will also cause economic ripples by bringing spinoff jobs at suppliers and service companies in the area.

In the coming months, after obtaining approvals and authorization by antitrust agencies, the new joint venture will be established, and site preparations will begin with the start of production in 2021.

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